Elizabeth Sanitarium is a huge abandoned clinic located near a small town next to Berlin called Potsdam. Located on a main road in Stahnsdorf, the sanitarium was used to treat tuberculosis patients in the early 1900’s and was still standing after WW2. After the war it became a skin clinic and had capacity for 90 inpatients. There was a second smaller building that looked like a house which I think was used as an administration building and for employees accommodation.
Getting in is fairly easy, walk around the small fence and there are people sized holes all over where others have got in previously. There is a dog training centre in front of the building so just be careful that no one see you whilst entering as it’s ‘verborten’ but once you’re in, you’re in! The building is a whole has seen better days, abandoned in 1994 the days left here seem numbered as many roofs have collapsed entirely.
Walking around you can’t help but feel as if there is a presence following you… any small noise you hear (other than the motorway) gives you heart palpitations and makes you feel as if you are not alone there. In fact, I’m not sure that we were as when we went to the gloomy underground floor it was pitch black and with our phone torches all we could see a fresh blanket and pillow in one of the rooms, I’m sure it was just a harmless homeless person but it was still creepy!
Unexpectedly the small house-like building just opposite ended up being surprisingly one of the most interesting places I’d been in… full of mystery. As we opened one of the doors inside we were met with nothing but darkness… As we walked further in we came to the realisation that this entire room had had the doors closed and set on fire. Everything was burnt and the on the black walls people had put hand prints which now looked white due to the absence of soot. There were fresh sofas and blankets in there which made me feel as if people had been in there chilling together in the dirt… possibly the homeless person but I guess I will never know for sure…
If you’re a fan of Modeselektor! or Apparat, then undoubtedly you will have heard of Berlin’s best collaboration, Moderat. The trio are aimed at a very particular kind of electronic music fan and their music is truly compelling. One of my favourite tracks “A New Error” illustrate the balance from each of the three producers. It has the warm astaral qualities that Apparat produces followed by the muscular energy from Modeselektor, it’s an extremely intricate song and in the right mood it can take you into a completely different world.
Another song to check out is “Nr.22” arguably one of Moderat’s finest cuts and one of the best standard built and released techno I have heard for a long time, like many tracks, it starts off whispery before setting out a lose hyperactive synth and staccato-drum pattern, sure to melt paint off the walls from Berlin to Broooklyn.
There are so many club made moments in each of their songs yet they manage to split their style with a variety of atmospheric numbers to grime-infected pop tracks. Every song is a winner. Ring takes up vocal duties on a couple of tracks, a personal favourite being “Rusty Nails.” This tune closely resembles songs off Apparat’s 2007’s “Walls.” However, there is less of a dream/pop structure and this has been swapped out for dubstep sounding synths. I feel Rusty Nails and other vocal song “Out of Sight” owes a lot to Burial as the similarities make you feel as if you are listening to a Burial song, however Moderat are able to add their own spin to things.
Moderat (Moderat) album felt sightly lengthy in comparison to Moderat (II) as some tracks felt as if they were there for the sake of making a full length record rather than an EP. However the 2013 album II reflects how much the trio have progressed as they seem intent on exploring or blurring the line between ‘dancefloor listening’ and ‘headphone listening.’ Overall, the major differences between II and their self titled is that their sonic sensibilities have grown more refined and compelling and that the world has just about caught up with them. (Well, some of us more than others) II seems capable of making the most out of the moment as it is a flawlessly xecuted record.